The pedometer diary of a student

Does the amount of walking students do every day amount to a decent amount of exercise? A Journal staffer finds out by tracking her steps with a pedometer

Journal Staff Writer Sierra Yanush recorded her daily activities to see if students complete the recommended 10,000 steps a day in their day-to-day hussle and bustle.
Journal Staff Writer Sierra Yanush recorded her daily activities to see if students complete the recommended 10,000 steps a day in their day-to-day hussle and bustle.

In an effort to lose weight and power-walk their way to fitness, many people have turned to pedometers as their own personal trainers. Because Queen’s students typically walk a significant amount, I decided to see if the amount of walking we do day-to-day amounts to a decent form of exercise.

After leaving my volunteer job downtown on Tuesday (to which I took a bus), I walked up Princess St. to the Running Room to get myself fitted out. The two friendly guys working help me pick up a pedometer that keeps track of steps, kilometers and calories burned. It’s recommended I take 10,000 steps a day to get a sufficient amount of exercise.

Wednesday Nov. 18, 2009

8:10 a.m.

I wake up late for my 8:30 class and forget to put the pedometer on until I’m running out the door. My count will be short the steps I took running about like mad to finish my ablutions. I run to Jeffrey Hall, with a quick stop in Mac-Corry for a muffin.

8:32 a.m.

One thousand and fifty-three steps on arrival. I have an hour and a half of Philosophy of Language before heading over to work.

2:40 p.m.

I’ve taken 3,937 steps so far. After working in the Queen’s Archives I head back to Jeffrey for Philosophy of Law, then home to cram before my 6 p.m. midterm.

11:00 p.m.

After the test I go out for dinner. Phnom Penh’s dining room is closed so we headed next door to Cambodian Village. I make a quick stop at Classic Video next, return a few DVDs, then head downstairs to their amazing British section. I headed straight up Brock St. to Nelson St. for my home and bed. Ten thousand, five hundred and fifty-two steps.

12:00 a.m.

Putter around 62 steps and end my day with 10,584 steps.

Thursday Nov. 19, 2009

8:30 a.m.

I’m up early to finish two assignments. This leaves me expecting a fairly stationary day, with my bum predominantly in my chair.

3:30 p.m.

I check the pedometer and see I’ve walked 444 steps in my house before I leave to hand the assignments in. I know eight of them took place in my miniscule washroom when I brushed my teeth, which I found a little odd; it’s so small that you have to sit sideways on the toilet. The rest are from trips to and from the fridge, hoping delicious food will magically appear. 4:30 p.m.

The pedometer makes me acutely aware that my steps are being counted, so I resolve to do things like take the stairs. This is why pedometers are said to help you lose weight. When I arrive in Watson Hall, the elevator doors were open, so I take it instead. It’s probably a good choice because Marilyn, my T.A., was emptying the drop box when I arrived. Home again – 3,559 steps.

11:30 p.m.

I lose the pedometer sometime between arriving home and eating dinner. I must have taken at least a hundred steps searching for it, plus all the steps I would have taken anyway. I’m going to estimate 500 steps, which puts my total at 4,059, less than half of what I should be walking.

Friday Nov. 20, 2009

11:30 a.m.

My roommate found the pedometer in between the couch cushions and left it on the kitchen table so I’d see it when I got up. I spend the morning lazing around in bed before heading off for my only class, racking up 1,868 steps along the way.

2 p.m.

I arrive home after doing errands on campus. I head from Gordon Hall to check what I needed for OSAP. I print forms off at Stauffer and walked back to Gordon. A doctor’s appointment at La Salle takes me to the south end of campus, where I’m at 5,472 steps.

2:30 p.m.

My boyfriend Alex receives an invite from his Oma to have lunch. We get nine houses (128 steps) down the street before the pouring rain stops us. We call a cab, but I’ve lost the opportunity to walk 2.6 kilometres.

7:45 p.m.

Oma drives us home. We’re too full of food to walk.

8:45 p.m.

I spend an hour lolling on the couch then head out for the 10 p.m. Twilight Saga: New Moon show with a girlfriend.

12:10 a.m.

As expected, the movie was pretty bad, but I’m at 9,743 steps (7.3 kilometres) with the walk to the theatre, and to Alex’s North of Princess house to sleep.

Saturday Nov. 21, 2009

10:17 a.m.

I’m annoyed at myself for sleeping in. I don’t have a ticket yet for the Mitchell Bowl and I really want to go. I leave for the PEC only to find out they won’t sell tickets until 11:30am at Richardson Stadium.

12:00 p.m.

I arrive at Richardson to find out there are still tickets left. The 1,641 steps to the PEC, back home and out to Richardson were worth it. We head to a friend’s house, who lives close to the Stadium, to hang out before the game starts. 1:00 p.m.

We arrive as “O Canada” is finishing, and I’m at 6,139 steps.

4:30 p.m.

I rush home after our victory because I have to get in line for Stone Temple Pilots at the K-Rock Centre—not so quickly that I missed rushing the field though. I was too excited to check the pedometer, but I hope it was at least 70 steps. Alex is already waiting in line and I don’t want to be the jerk who cuts in line, which means have to arrive as early as possible. After I change I decide my best option is cabbing. I’m at 7,782 steps upon arrival at the very front of the line.

10:36 p.m. Being first in line, we were standing up against the gate before the stage. I had to take my pedometer off because the people behind were crushing me. Alex’s friends and I try to hustle him home. It’s his birthday party and his parents and relatives have come to town for a surprise party. 10,376 steps at the front door of a soon to be surprised boy. I’ve reached my goal and the night is young.

3:06 a.m.

Most people have left. We tidy up a bit, and then decide to drive over to Alex’s aunts and sleep there. As I get into my air-mattress bed my pedometer tells me it’s been my best day yet: 11,611 steps.

Sunday Nov. 22, 2009

8:47 p.m.

I rolled off the squeaky air mattress and following the smell of food upstairs. Italian families cook ridiculous amounts of food. I enjoyed a great, hour and a half-long breakfast before being driven home. I do laundry then sit down with my books for the rest of the day. Alex calls to see if I want to head to the library. I do since I’ve only walked 432 steps the entire day.

10:56 p.m.

I need a break from homework, so I head to the Common Ground with 1,648 steps, and return with bagels and a reading of 2,017 steps.

1:45 a.m.

I arrive home from Stauffer. I’ve taken 3,413 steps today—far fewer than I should have taken. After five days of following my steps I’ve learned that it’s hard to have good posture with a backpack on, something that’s important for walkers to consider. I can walk 10,000 plus steps in a day, but with exams coming up I’m more likely to have days like Thursday and today where I fall far short.

If I’m not going to be walking for extended periods of time, I need to make an effort to hit the gym.

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